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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A major overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act is in the works. This week the House passed the new Every Student Succeeds Act; and the Senate is expected to vote on the act next week.
With the Every Student Succeeds Act, students will still be required to standardized yearly tests in math and reading and schools with still have to report the results, but if there are problems with a school it will be up the the states and not the federal government to decide what changes should be made.
Dr. Victor Willson, a professor and Educational Psychology department head at Texas A&M University, said, “My view is that this is a reaction to No Child Left Behind’s emphasis on assessment that really created some conditions that were ultimately gonna be impossible for the states to meet — just mathematically impossible in terms of the annual yearly progress and the gains that were proposed.”
The changes are a part of the cutbacks in the federal role in public education. The law was a signature policy of George W. Bush — both as Texas Governor and as U.S. President.
Willson said he and other experts aren’t surprised that No Child Left Behind is being changed. “This was building with dissatisfaction in the way no Child Left Behind was evolving in the last seven or eight years. I think there was a lot of concern with the assessment emphasis and where it was taking some states, even here in Texas where we were at one point going to 16 tests to graduate – an absolute crazy idea.”
President Obama is expected to sign the measure which would flip the decision-making powers. “For good or ill, I think the return to much more of a state centered emphasis on this will politically permit some more flexibility than I think was happening with the kind of mandated approach that No Child Left Behind originally had,” Wilson said.
According to the New York Times, most education advocacy groups, including both teachers unions and the National School Boards Association, as well as the National Governors Association, have signaled their support for the bill.
No Child officially expired in 2007.
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